New Adult: The Bullied Genre

First of all, just so everyone knows, this is just strictly my opinion on the matter. I’m not only coming at this from a writer/author’s standpoint, but also a reader’s standpoint. Let’s begin.

New Adult… As most of us know, this squeaky new genre was created as the solution to an over-saturated YA market and also the need to fill the gap between Teen Fiction and Adult Fiction. New Adult (NA) is classified as Fiction centering around characters’ ages 18-25 +/-.

Personally, I’ve been waiting for this genre to sprout up for a long time. I’m 21, and have always seemed to write about characters around the same age I was, but when I began surpassing my teen years I was stumped on how to classify my books. Unfortunately, even with the New Adult genre now out there, I’m still stumped at what to do.

My reasons? First off, I realized my first series “The Dark Chronicles” is actually NA instead of Ya as it centers around a girl (age 19) in her last year of high school. From the first book, I know it could probably stay in YA, but what about when she graduates and heads into a college like institution, leaving home for the first time, and having to rely on herself more than ever to get herself by safely? (I’m trying to refrain from spoilers ^_^.) By those three things right there, my series is therefore classified as New Adult.

Okay no big deal, right? Wrong, because if you go on Amazon, you’ll not find New Adult set as its own rightly deserved genre, but as a sub-genre of Romance. Sub-genre. -__-…..

That discovery made me realize that New Adult is being manipulated and bullied into being something it is not. What does everyone “know” about NA? Just think, when you hear something about NA, what do you think or picture? 20 something year old’s getting it on, right? Sexy sexy time that’s not quite 50 Shades of Grey but also a little more than what’s shown in YA.

I know there are some books out there that aren’t focused on the steamy sex and that actually talk about the hardships and different things you go through as an actual new adult. But the fact remains that the media and everyone else only seems to want to focus on the bedroom scenes. Well, I don’t like it. Where’s the NA Adventure? NA Fantasy? Horror? I mean come on, when you were 18-25+ was your life all about romance and sex? I realize some part of it focused on that, as everyone’s does, but was that it? What about the fear of living on your own? What about the struggle of working two jobs to make rent and then finding out your roommate blew their half on beer and poker? Where’s the NA story about the guy/girl across the way who always seems to be watching you? Are they just attracted to you or is it a little more than that?

Some of you, I know, will probably say I’m just bashing the sex, the erotic NA Fiction, or something to that end result. Well, you’d be wrong, because I’m not bashing anyone. You wanna read erotic fiction, go ahead. Just because I’m not into it doesn’t mean no one can be. What I’m upset about is the fact that Romance/Erotic/Sexy-sexy is what everyone seems to be trying to paint New Adult as. That’s one color people, and it already has a name; Romance, so leave it where it is. New Adult has its own coloring, and should be given the full ownership and respect as a full Genre that it rightly deserves.

I’m just one of many trying to shed light on what’s going on here.

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8 thoughts on “New Adult: The Bullied Genre

  1. datmama4 says:

    I’ll have to look for it, but I recently (within the past two months?) read a blog post about NA books that were NOT full of sex and more sex. It listed a good number of books that fit the “cleaner” category…I stumbled across it because it had mentioned Kinetic (The Luminaries), written by a friend of mine, in the clean category.

    It’s a shame that NA is suddenly being pushed into only a single genre within that age group. The post I mentioned seemed to recognize that, also. Maybe if more people like you raise the awareness, the perception of it can be changed before it’s too deeply cemented in the Romance section.


    • Sabrina Giles says:

      Well if you do find that post I’d love to read it and I hope very much we can change the course the media is pushing NA into before it’s too late.
      It makes me upset, not because I’m prudish, but because they’re limiting this new genre’s power and reach. I know I’m not alone in being an author with a NA book and nowhere to put it where it would be correctly classified and portrayed for what it truly is.
      This list of other “cleaner” NA books you mentioned… Do you know perhaps if they were all romance or were there some other sub-genres thrown in there? Adventure or Fantasy maybe?
      If so, then there’s still hope and that makes me very excited.^_^


      • datmama4 says:

        It’s called “Nice Guys in NA” and is here:

        Without looking up each book, I can’t tell if they’re all romance-ish or not, but I do know the author I mentioned above (S.K. Anthony) is concerned about whether she can list her upcoming book in the Urban Fantasy NA category because it doesn’t have the sex.


      • Sabrina Giles says:

        Thank you! None of my NA novels will have sex either, or at least won’t have any explicit details of it. It may be childish, but I find detailed sex in books too personal. Just me.
        Thank you again for the link and I can’t wait to try out some of these books!


  2. Kaitlyn Watson says:

    Thank God I am not the only one out here who thinks this!!! I was beginning to wonder if I was just an oddball to think that this genre could be any more then sex. I’m almost out of my teen years and I wanted something with older characters I could relate to (Teenie boppers are getting on my nerves a little lol) I found NA genre and read a preview of a book that sounded good, my eyes nearly jumped out of their socket at the first page and it was giving details of sex I honestly didn’t wanna know! So I agree with your post completely and hope more people speak up and help change this!


    • Sabrina Giles says:

      Well thank you for the support! I don’t like the explicitness in the sex scenes of NA. I think that is too personal for books. *laughs* It makes me feel like I’m spying on people having sex like a peeping tom or something. Neh, not for me.
      But if you want to help change this you can post about your thoughts on it on your blog like I did! And tell anyone else you know who agrees with you to do the same thing! If enough of us do it for long enough we’ll change it.


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